Thought I would break out a new thread documenting my experience with my new 2012 EarthRoamer XV-LT. My experience with expedition vehicles is only 16 months, driving a 2008 EarthRoamer XV-LT. I put around 20,000 miles on that rig. It is now on consignment at EarthRoamer. I have had many questions asking why I would trade up to a 2012 EarthRoamer. Looking at the pictures they don't look much different.
Simple answer is that the EarthRoamers beginning in 2012 are much different than earlier models. The guys at EarthRoamer have continued to feed in improvements to the rig over the last few years but have not really talked too much about those improvements. Based on my experience with the new rig since last Friday when I took delivery, I think the 2012 EarthRoamer XV-LT is different enough to be called EarthRoamer 2.0.
The combination of the Ford 2012 chassis, the 6.7L engine and the addition of the MPT81 41" tires make the new EarthRoamer an entirely different machine on the road compared to my 2008 EarthRoamer. The tires make a difference. My 2008 EarthRoamer had the standard 37" Michelin tires with air ride. The 41" MPT81 tires give a softer ride and the rig is very stable at highway speeds. The big tires make more noise and will only get about half tread life as the 37" tires. Most owners need new 41" tires between 20,000 and 30,000 miles. The MPT81's cost $14,300 more. Based on my experience I would recommend the MPT81's for the EarthRoamer.
The other big change from my 2008 EarthRoamer is the new 2012 Ford F550, 6.7L diesel chassis. Ford really got it right with this truck. It is much, much quieter at highway speeds than my 2008 6.4L F550. The transmission is much smoother. And it is much more efficient. Since taking delivery of my new EarthRoamer on Friday, I have been driving it around the Colorado mountains wringing it out before heading back to California. This morning I made a round trip from downtown Denver up to the top of Floyd Hill and back on I70. Made the entire trip up and down the grade between 60 and 65 mph. Ford MPG page showed 11.5 mpg which squared with the EarthRoamer fuel totallizer showing diesel consumed. By comparison my 2008 F550 would nominally get between 9.0 and 9.2 mpg under the same conditions. My new EarthRoamer only has 200 miles on it so it is likely fuel economy will improve as the motor breaks in. So the stories that the new 6.7L diesel is 20% more efficient seem to be true.
Many other changes which I will feed into this thread with future posts.